To be honest, I have always taken negative tripadvisor reviews with a pinch of salt. This is perhaps why my boyfriend and I never checked any reviews before booking our 1 night stay at Strathisla. Having now read previous reviews, I felt compelled to share our story as it is clearly not an isolated event.
My boyfriend and I stayed here before a cycle through the highlands and outer hebrides. We were hoping for a calm and relaxing stay to rest up for our upcoming journey. That was not what we got.
We arrived intending to just leave our bikes/gear and head out for a bite to eat. We were delayed and a bit put off by the incessant ramblings of our host. As noted by other guests, his chatter quickly turned offensive - at one point bordering on racist as he complained about a local shop shutting down and more "bloody indians" moving in. We somehow managed to extract ourselves from the conversation and had a lovely stroll through Inverness picking up things for the next day. We thought it best to stay away from the B&B as long as possible.
Having snuck back to our room unnoticed, the night passed without event. The next morning we joined three other guests for breakfast around the family dining table. The food was fair, not plentiful, but it was apparent that we were occupying space in a private family home. Our host interrupted with peculiar questions and comments throughout the meal.
After eating we returned to our room to collect our things and leave. We were unaware of the 10am check-out but were making fine progress until I was unable to locate my wallet. At precisely 10am, mid missing-wallet-panic, our host banged on our door, voice-raised, telling us to get out. My boyfriend informed him of our situation and instead of responding with concern, we were aggressively accused of lying and told that "we should have lost the wallet before 10am". We calmly tried to explain that our passports and cash were in this missing wallet and that without it we would forced to cancel our trip. We assured him that he would receive payment, we just needed some additional time to sort things out all-the-while reminding him that we had offered to pay upon arrival, which he declined, and that he already had our credit card information from time of booking. We asked him to phone the police and the shops we had visited the day before, but he refused. Things became heated quite quickly and at this point our host's wife appeared in the doorway brandishing a frying pan. With now two people relentlessly insisting on money and rushing us out the door, we decided to split up. My boyfriend would run and get the cash we needed with his card while retracing our steps in the hopes of locating the wallet, and I would look for it amongst our possessions while finishing the packing.
20 minutes go by...Having put up with regular intervals of unfriendly accusations, I was near tears when my boyfriend returned with my wallet in hand (thankfully the wonderful cashier at Morrisons had minded my possessions after I had carelessly left them at the till). My boyfriend tried to reenter the property and found that our host had bolted the gate shut with a bicycle D-lock. I was in effect locked inside this B&B. Rather bizarrely, our host changed from being hostile to being accommodating at the discovery we had money in hand, behaving as though the previous hour didn't occur, never apologizing. We gave him 50 pounds for a 48 pound bill. I was willing to let the change go so that we could just leave, but my boyfriend refused to pay a penny more for such a horrible stay. Our host banged about his cupboards perturbedly for several minutes before handing over the 2 pounds in small change with a receipt thanking us for our custom.
The peculiarities of this place could be overlooked, some people might even enjoy them, but the treatment we received while in a dire position, having lost a significant amount of money and all our travel documents, was unacceptable - specifically the way he just wanted his money and wanted us out without a shred of compassion. This is something you wouldn't expect from any human being, least of all someone who makes their living accepting travelers into their home where this sort of thing must happen from time to time. Another reviewer summed it up well, you are not a guest in a B&B but an inconvenience in a family home.
- Also Known As:
- Strathisla B&B Inverness, Scotland